Title:
Lottery games having non-numeric characters
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A system and method for a lottery game in which characters are drawn is disclosed. The characters are drawn from character sets in accordance with a template. The template has multiple character positions associated with the character sets with at least one of the sets including non-numeric characters. Winners of the lottery game are determined by comparing characters selected by players to the drawn lottery characters. In an exemplary embodiment the template represents a license plate. Also disclosed are a lottery ticket, a play slip, and a lottery game entry machine in accordance with the lottery game.



Inventors:
Seidman, Frank (Flourtown, PA, US)
Richter, Stephen B. (Ambler, PA, US)
Suh, David H. (Cherry Hill, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/159789
Publication Date:
01/26/2006
Filing Date:
06/23/2005
Assignee:
Lottery Solutions, LP
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/139
International Classes:
A63F1/00; A63F1/18
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
COLLINS, DOLORES R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RATNERPRESTIA (King of Prussia, PA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A method for playing a lottery game in which a player selects player characters, the method comprising the steps of: a) drawing lottery characters from one or more character sets in accordance with a template, the template having a plurality of character positions, each character position associated with one of the one or more character sets, at least one of the one or more character sets including one or more non-numeric characters; and b) comparing the selected player characters and the drawn lottery characters to determine if the player is a winner of the lottery game.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the method further comprises the step of: c) the player selecting the selected player characters from the one or more character sets in accordance with the template.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein the template further has a country identifier position and wherein the method further comprises the steps of: d) the player selecting a player country identifier from a country set in accordance with the template; and e) drawing a lottery country identifier from the country set in accordance with the template; wherein the step of comparing the selected player characters and the drawn lottery characters further includes comparing the selected player country and the drawn lottery country in determining if the player is the winner of the lottery game.

4. The method of claim 2, wherein the template further has a state identifier position and wherein the method further comprises the steps of: d) the player selecting a player state identifier from a state set in accordance with the template; and e) drawing a lottery state identifier from the state set in accordance with the template; wherein the step of comparing the selected player characters and the drawn lottery characters further includes comparing the selected player state and the drawn lottery state in determining if the player is the winner of the lottery game.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein the template further has a region identifier position and wherein the method further comprises the steps of: f) the player selecting a player region identifier from a region set in accordance with the template; and g) drawing a lottery region identifier from the region set in accordance with the template; wherein the steps of comparing the selected player characters and player state and the drawn lottery characters and lottery state further includes comparing the selected player region and the drawn lottery region in determining if the player is the winner of the lottery game.

6. The method of claim 2, wherein the step of the player selecting player characters from the one or more character sets in accordance with the template comprises the step of: the player selecting two or more player characters from a character set as alternative selections for at least one of the plurality of character positions in a single lottery character selection.

7. The method of claim 2, wherein the step of the at least one player selecting player characters comprises the step of: the player selecting all player characters from a character set as alternative selections for at least one of the plurality of character positions in a single lottery character selection.

8. The method of claim 1, wherein the template is a representation of a license plate.

9. The method of claim 8, wherein the license plate is a simulated license plate.

10. The method of claim 8, wherein the license plate is an actual license plate.

11. The method of claim 10, further comprising the steps of: c) comparing the drawn lottery characters to a registered license plate registered to an owner; and d) distributing a bonus to the owner if the drawn lottery characters match the registered license plate.

12. The method of claim 1, wherein the step of drawing lottery characters from the one or more character sets in accordance with the template comprises the steps of: a1) receiving a first set of one or more characters from an other lottery game for one or more of the plurality of positions in the template; a2) drawing a second set of one or more characters for one or more other of the plurality of positions in the template; and a3) generating at least a portion of the lottery characters by combining the first and second sets.

13. The method of claim 1, wherein the step of drawing lottery characters from the one or more character sets in accordance with the template comprises the steps of: a1) receiving a first set of one or more characters from a first other lottery game for one or more of the plurality of positions in the template; a2) receiving a second set of one or more characters from a second other lottery game for one or more other of the plurality of positions in the template; and a3) generating at least a portion of the lottery characters by combining the first and second sets.

14. The method of claim 1, wherein the player is one of a plurality of players, the lottery game is hosted in two or more regions with each of the plurality of players being associated with a respective one of the two or more regions, the step of drawing lottery characters is performed in each of the two or more regions, and the method further comprises the steps of: c) collecting a fee from each of the plurality of players in their respective region; d) accumulating collected fees in the respective regions; e) drawing multi-region lottery characters from the one or more character sets in accordance with the template; and f) comparing the selected player characters for each of the plurality of players and the drawn multi-region lottery characters to determine one or more winners within the plurality of players.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein the method further comprises: g) distributing at least a portion of the collected fees in each of the two or more regions to the one or more winners.

16. The method of claim 14, wherein the step of comparing the selected player characters for each of the plurality of players and the drawn multi-region lottery characters to determine one or more winners within the plurality of players comprises: comparing the selected player characters for each of the plurality of players and the drawn multi-region lottery characters regardless of the regions associated with each of the plurality of players to determine the one or more winners within the plurality of players.

17. The method of claim 1, wherein the player is one of a plurality of players of the lottery game and wherein the method further comprises the steps of: c) collecting a fee from each of the plurality of players; d) accumulating collected fees up to a predetermined number of subsequent drawings of lottery characters if there are no winners of the lottery game based on drawn lottery characters; and e) distributing all collected fees to one or more of the plurality of players after the predetermined number of subsequent drawings according to a predetermined allocation schedule.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein the collected fee is based at least in part on the number of chances each of the plurality of players has of winning for one drawing of lottery characters.

19. The method of claim 17, wherein the predetermined allocation schedule is a percentage basis based at least in part on a number of matches between players characters of each player and the lottery characters drawn on a last of the predetermined number of subsequent drawings.

20. The method of claim 1, wherein the template includes a subset of characters and wherein the method further comprises the steps of: c) receiving an add-on game selection from the player corresponding to the subset of characters; and d) the player selecting player subset characters from the one or more character sets in accordance with the template for the subset of characters; and e) comparing the selected player subset characters and the drawn lottery characters to determine if the player is a winner of the add-on game.

21. The method of claim 1, wherein the non-numeric characters are alphabetic characters.

22. The method of claim 1, wherein the at least one of the one or more character sets further includes numeric characters.

23. A play slip for playing a lottery game in which characters are drawn in accordance with a template, the template having a plurality of character positions, each character position associated with a respective character set, at least one of the respective character sets including one or more non-numeric characters for selection, the play slip comprising: a plurality of character selection areas for one selection of characters for the lottery game, each character selection area associated with one character position of the template, at least one character selection area including one or more non-numeric characters for selecting one or more non-numeric characters for at least one character position in accordance with the template.

24. The play slip of claim 23, the play slip further comprising: a multi-character selection indicator associated with one of the plurality of character selection areas enabling selection of two of more characters for a single character position in accordance with the template.

25. The play slip of claim 24, wherein the multi-character selection indicator enables selection of all characters for the single character position.

26. The play slip of claim 23, wherein the template further has at least one of a country, a state, or a region geographic identifier position and wherein the play slip further comprises: a geographic identifier selection area for at least one of countries, states, or regions for one selection of one or more geographic identifiers for the lottery game.

27. The play slip of claim 23, further comprising: a plurality of other character selection areas for an other selection of characters for the lottery game.

28. A lottery ticket for use with a lottery game in which character are drawn, the lottery ticket comprising: a background depicting a representation of a simulated license plate; and a player character display area on the background, the player character display area displaying one selection of characters selected by a player for a drawing of characters for the lottery game, at least one selected character displayed in the player character display area being non-numeric.

29. The lottery ticket of claim 28, further comprising: at least one other player character display area on the background, the at least one other player character display area displaying at least one other selection of characters selected by the player for the drawing of characters for the lottery game.

30. The lottery ticket of claim 28, wherein the selection of characters displayed in the player character display area indicates an alternate character selection for at least one character position within the displayed selection of characters.

31. A lottery game entry machine for playing a lottery game in which characters are drawn in accordance with a template, the template having a plurality of character positions, each character position associated with a respective character set, at least one of the respective character sets including one or more non-numeric characters for selection, the lottery game entry machine comprising: a keypad; and at least one button on the keypad, the at least one button enabling selection of one or more non-numeric characters for at least one of the plurality of character positions for a drawing of the lottery game in accordance with the template for the lottery game.

32. The lottery game entry machine of claim 31, wherein the keypad is a keypad graphical user interface (GUI) and wherein the lottery game entry machine further comprises: a display that displays the keypad GUI.

33. The lottery game entry machine of claim 32, wherein the template includes a first character position associated with a first set of characters and a second character position associated with a second set of characters, the second character position adjacent the first character position, and wherein the display displays the first set of characters for selection of one or more characters from the first set of characters for the first character position and automatically displays the second set of characters for selection of one or more characters from the second set of characters for the second character position upon selection of the one or more characters for the first character position.

34. The lottery game entry machine of claim 33, wherein the first set of characters include alphabetic characters and the second set of characters include numeric characters.

35. The lottery game entry machine of claim 31, wherein the lottery game entry machine further comprises: a housing coupled to the keypad, the housing configured as a self-service terminal.

36. The lottery game entry machine of claim 31, wherein the at least one button enables selection of multiple characters as alternative selections for at least one of the plurality of character positions in a single lottery character selection for the lottery game.

37. The lottery game entry machine of claim 31, wherein the template further has a geographic identifier position and wherein the lottery game entry machine further comprises: one or more geographic identifier buttons on the keypad, the geographic identifier buttons enabling the selection of one or more geographic identifiers for the geographic identifier position in accordance with the template for the lottery game.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION(S)

This application claims the benefit of the filing date of Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/582,325 entitled “METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PLAYING NEW LOTTERY GAMING SYSTEMS” filed Jun. 23, 2004, the contents of which are incorporated fully herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to lottery games and more particularly to lottery games involving random drawings of characters.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Lottery games are played by individuals on a daily basis. Some lottery games can produce an almost immediate determination of whether a player wins, such as the scratch-off type games where a lottery player purchases a lottery ticket and scratches off one or more fields on the lottery ticket to determine if it is a winning ticket. In this type of lottery game, the scratch-off field itself might alert the lottery player that they have won a prize and the extent of the win or particular prize that was won. In other versions, while the lottery player may scratch off the fields, the determination of whether the player has won is made by a comparison to an already determined list of winning fields or combinations of fields or by a later determined list of winning fields/combinations of fields.

Other types of lottery games provide for the determination of a winner based upon randomly drawn numbers corresponding to the number fields of a lottery ticket. These randomly determined numbers are referred to as “drawings” that take place at a predetermined time. Some drawings take place on a daily basis while others take place on a weekly basis or other periodic/regular basis. In this type of lottery game, a lottery player either selects a number for each field of a lottery ticket or has a randomly determined number selected for each field by a lottery ticket computer/ticket machine. The lottery player then takes the lottery ticket containing the selected/generated numbers and waits for the appropriate drawing for which the lottery player has purchased a ticket. Following the drawing, a lottery player then compares the numbers on the lottery ticket against the published winning numbers drawn for the particular lottery game being played at the particular time designated on the lottery ticket. If the numbers or combinations of numbers on the lottery ticket correspond to the numbers drawn, the lottery player is a winner and is entitled to collect the prize that is designated for the particular numbers or combinations of numbers that were drawn.

In some lottery games, in addition to selecting the numbers, the lottery player is permitted to pick a wager type, such as a straight wager or a boxed wager. A straight wager requires that the order of each of the numbers in each number field of the lottery ticket must correspond exactly to the order of each of the numbers drawn for those specific number fields in the lottery drawing. A boxed wager allows the lottery player to win if the numbers in each number field of the lottery ticket correspond to the numbers drawn, regardless of the specific order of the drawing. The payouts or prizes associated with the drawing will vary depending upon the wager type. A straight wager could have a higher payout or larger prize than a boxed wager, because the odds against successfully picking a straight wager (with the exact numbers in the exact order of the drawing) are greater than the odds of correctly selecting a boxed wager (exact numbers of the drawing, but appearing in any order).

An example of a lottery game involving randomly drawn numbers is the Pennsylvania DAILY NUMBERSM offered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The DAILY NUMBERSM involves the selection of a three-digit number by the lottery player which is then printed on a lottery ticket. Each digit of the three-digit number can range from 0-9 for a total of 1,000 possible winning combinations from 000-999. A predetermined betting range is set from $0.50 to $5.00. A lottery player picks the time and date that the lottery player wishes to play the DAILY NUMBERSM with bets being allowed up to one week in advance of a drawing. Drawings are regularly scheduled, with a first or afternoon drawing taking place every day at 1:35 p.m. and a second or evening drawing taking place every day at 7:00 p.m. The drawings involve the random selection of a ball from three different hoppers, each hopper containing 10 balls numbered from 0-9. A separate ball is selected (one from each hopper) for each of the three spots. When selecting the number, the lottery player is allowed to select the three-digit number or have the computer randomly select a three-digit number for them. Pennsylvania refers to a computer generated number as a QUICK PICK™. The lottery player is also allowed to select the wager type from a predetermined list of wagers that includes straight, boxed, boxed two digits plus one, play front pair, play back pair, play super straight, play super straight plus one. The payout odds for these wager types range from 50 to 1 for the play front pair and play back pair options to 500 to 1 for the straight, play super straight, and play super straight plus one wager types. The information—number, date and wager type are all printed on a lottery ticket. The lottery ticket serves as the lottery player's receipt in the event of a winning combination. If a player has a winning ticket, the player turns the winning ticket in to the place of purchase or some other designated location by a lottery commission to confirm the prize that corresponds to the lottery ticket information. For this example, the payout equals the odds for a particular bet, multiplied by the actual bet. Payouts for the DAILY NUMBERSM thus range from $25.00 for a $0.50 bet at 50 to 1 odds, up to $2,500 for a $5.00 bet at 500 to 1 odds. Note that the payout odds for this example are one half of the actual odds. The balance (approx. the other one half of the actual odds) goes to the lottery host, in this case the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Similar to the DAILY NUMBERSM is The BIG 4SM lottery game. The BIG 4SM lottery game involves the selection of a four-digit number, with each of the four digits ranging from 0-9. This provides a total of 10,000 possible numbers ranging from 0000-9999. The winning or payout odds for this game range from 200 to 1 up to 5,000 to 1 for the various wagers permitted. For this game, the wagers include—straight, boxed, box two pairs, box one pair plus two digits, and box four different digits. Similar to the DAILY NUMBERSM, the bets range from $0.50 up to $5.00. The BIG 4SM has a first/afternoon drawing each day in the afternoon at 1:35 p.m. and each a second/evening drawing each evening at 7:00 p.m. The lottery player's ticket for The BIG 4SM would have four number fields (for the four digit number) instead of the three number fields of the DAILY NUMBERSM.

Some lottery games have the prizes determined based upon the pool of monies wagered in a particular lottery game. This structure of payout is also referred to as a “pari-mutuel” system. Moreover, some payout structures are referred to as a “fixed” payout. An example of a lottery game using both the pari-mutuel and fixed payout systems is the Pennsylvania CASH 5SM lottery game. In the CASH 5SM lottery game, a player selects (or has the computer select) five separate numbers with each number ranging from 1-39. In the CASH 5SM lottery game, fifty percent of the gross sales are allocated to the total winnings pool. A winning ticket occurs if a player matches anywhere from two of five numbers of the drawn five numbers. If a match occurs, the lottery player is awarded a predetermined percentage of the respective winning subset pool (a pari-mutuel payout), with the exception that a match of only two of the five drawn numbers wins a predetermined distribution of $1.00 (a fixed payout)—which is also the cost of the lottery ticket for this game. If there are multiple winners for any of the other match levels (3 of five numbers, 4 of five numbers or 5 of five numbers), the winners for each level divide the allocated prize award for that particular level by the numbers of winners at that level.

Another type of lottery game is the Pennsylvania POWERBALL®, a multi-state game. The POWERBALL® lottery drawing takes place twice weekly. This is a progressive lottery game starting at a $10 million dollar jackpot that grows each drawing until there is a winner. POWERBALL® involves six numbers—five numbers plus the POWERBALL® number. Each of the five numbers range from 1-53 and the POWERBALL® number ranges from 1-42. POWERBALL® allows the lottery player to play up to 26 drawings in advance. If designated an advance drawing(s), the player marks the number of advance draws desired in the “advance draws” column of the ticket. A bet is required for each drawing selected. Predetermined combinations of drawing numbers correspond to predetermined prizes. The grand prize or jackpot is awarded if all five balls plus the power ball correctly match all numbers drawn for the designated drawing. If five balls (but not the 6th, POWERBALL®) match, a predetermined prize of $100,000 is awarded. If four balls and the POWERBALL®) match a predetermined prize of $5,000 is won. In the POWERBALL®, multiple winners at each prize level are each awarded the predetermined, fixed prize at that level, except for the grand prize/jackpot, which is a pari-mutuel event (based on amount wagered and number of jackpot winners).

The POWERBALL® lottery has an additional variation called the POWER PLAY®. For an additional $1.00, the cost of the ticket, the POWER PLAY® entitles the lottery player to enroll in the POWER PLAY® number selection. The POWER PLAY® number is a multiplier that ranges from 2-5. Before the POWERBALL® numbers are drawn, the POWER PLAY® multiplier is drawn. This allows the lottery player the chance to multiply their winnings between two and five times the regular prize levels, depending upon the POWER PLAY® number selected. The instructions and payouts for these Pennsylvania lottery games are listed on the Pennsylvania lottery website at “palottery.com.” This website and each web page of the website is incorporated by reference, as if fully set forth herein.

The states that host lottery games will typically use the lottery revenue to help the state with its various programs or budget. For example, Pennsylvania revenue uses portions of the revenues for benefit programs for the Commonwealth's older residents. For this reason, it is beneficial for a state or lottery organization to continue to attract lottery players to its lottery games. Providing additional games or new games may serve to attract new users or attract additional bets from existing players. With the ability in many states to play lottery games from other states (and countries), it is desirable to have new lottery games available.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is embodied in a method for a lottery game in which characters are drawn. The characters are drawn from character sets in accordance with a template. The template has multiple character positions associated with the character sets with at least one of the sets including non-numeric characters. Winners of the lottery game are determined by comparing characters selected by players to the drawn lottery characters. In an exemplary embodiment the template represents a license plate. Also disclosed are a lottery ticket, a play slip, and a lottery game entry machine in accordance with the lottery game.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention is best understood from the following detailed description when read in connection with the accompanying drawings, with like elements having the same reference numerals. When a plurality of similar elements are present, a single reference numeral may be assigned to the plurality of similar elements with a small letter designation referring to specific elements. When referring to the elements collectively or to a non-specific one or more of the elements, the small letter designation may be dropped. The letter “n” may represent a non-specific number of elements. This emphasizes that according to common practice, the various features of the drawings are not drawn to scale. On the contrary, the dimensions of the various features are arbitrarily expanded or reduced for clarity. Included in the drawings are the following figures:

FIG. 1 is a picture of an actual license plate for use with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a diagram depicting license plate formats for multiple states grouped into multiple regions in accordance with aspects of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is an illustration of a simulated license plate for use with the present invention;

FIG. 4 is an illustration of an exemplary lottery ticket and an exemplary designated template for the lottery ticket in accordance with aspects of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a flow chart of exemplary steps for playing a lottery game in accordance with aspects of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is an illustration of another exemplary lottery ticket and designated template in accordance with aspects of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is an illustration of another exemplary lottery ticket and designated template in accordance with aspects of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is an illustration of an exemplary lottery machine in accordance with aspects of the present invention; and

FIG. 9 is an illustration of an exemplary play slip in accordance with aspects of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a lottery game in which characters are drawn from one or more character sets in accordance with a designated template by an authority that is hosting the lottery game (herein “the lottery host”). As described in further detail below, the designated template has multiple character positions with each character position associated with one of the one or more character sets, and at least one of the character sets includes one or more non-numeric characters such as alphabetic characters. The non-numeric characters may be English characters, Japanese characters, French characters, or characters of other countries. A lottery player (herein “the player”) wins the lottery game based upon whether characters selected by the player, which are typically displayed on a lottery ticket issued to the player, match the drawn characters. The player can select one or more of the characters manually or select to have them manually generated by a computer.

In an exemplary embodiment, the designated template represents a license plate. The license plate may be a representation of an actual license plate or of a simulated license plate. Although the template is described below with reference to either an actual license plate or a simulated license plate, it is contemplated that the template may be essentially any defined number of character positions with a non-numeric character valid in at least one of the character positions.

FIG. 1 depicts an actual license plate format 100 that may be represented by a designated template. Illustrated license plate 100 includes multiple character positions (represented by seven character positions 102a-g) and a state identifier 104. Illustrated license plate 100 is a representation of a license plate used in the state of Pennsylvania, with the illustration for the license plate 100 obtained on Jun. 20, 2005 from a website maintained by the department of motor vehicles for the state of Pennsylvania at www.dmv.state.pa.us/license_plates/index.shtml. In accordance with regulations for the state of Pennsylvania regarding the license plate character format for non-commercial vehicles, alphabetic characters (i.e., A-Z) are valid for each of the first three character positions (i.e., character positions 102a-c) and numeric characters (i.e., 0-9) are valid for each of the last four character positions (i.e., character positions 102d-g). Although a Pennsylvania license plate is depicted it will be understood by one of skill in the art from the description herein that essentially any state, region, or country license plate may be represented by a designated template.

A summary of various state license plate character formats for non-commercial vehicles is summarized in FIG. 2 (with the various states identified by their two digit postal code). FIG. 2 groups the license plate character formats into four regions (an east region 202, a west region 204, a north region 206, and a south region 208) with each region including ten states. In FIG. 2, a capital letter “L” is used in a character position to indicate an alphabetic character is valid in that positions and a capital letter “N” is used in a character position to indicate a numeric character is valid in that position. For example, the format for a non-commercial license plate in Ohio (OH) is LLNNLLL (e.g., AB12CDE). Additionally, some states may have character positions with constant character values. For example, the first character of a non-commercial license plate in California (CA) is always a numeric character “4.” Although the illustrated formats indicate that a numeric character is invalid in a character position in which an alphabetic character is valid and that an alphabetic character is invalid in a character position in which a numeric character is valid, it is contemplated that an alphabetic character and a numeric character may both be valid in a single character position. Further, although the above example, and the following description, describe formats for non-commercial automobile license plates, it is contemplated that other types of vehicle license plate formats may be used, e.g., those for commercial vehicles, motorcycle, etc.

FIG. 3 depicts a simulated license plate format 300 that may be represented by a designated template. Simulated license plate 300 includes multiple character positions (represented by six character positions 302a-f), e.g., designated by the lottery host. In an exemplary embodiment, alphabetic characters (e.g., A-Z) are designated as valid for each of the first three character positions (i.e., character positions 302a-c) and numeric characters (e.g., 0-9) are valid for each of the last three character positions (i.e., character positions 302d-f). It is contemplated that both a numeric character and an alphabetic character may be valid in one or more of character positions 302. In addition, it is contemplated that a subset of alphabetic characters and/or numeric characters may be valid in one or more character positions 202 (e.g., A-M and/or 1-5). Further, it is contemplated that the designated template may include more or less character positions 202 than the six illustrated in simulated license plate 300.

Simulated license plate 300 may be used as the designated template when multiple states are involved, for example. Since each state may have a different format for its license plate, simulated license plate 300 provides a generic template that enables the same game to be played in multiple states with a single character drawing. For example, with reference to FIG. 2, each state may be associated with a template 210 having a common format (e.g., LLL-NNN-ST, where ST stands for a state geographic identifier position that is described below).

There is shown in FIG. 4 an exemplary lottery ticket 400 for use with an exemplary lottery game in accordance with the present invention (referred to herein as “game variant one”). Lottery ticket 400 serves as a receipt for a lottery player playing the lottery game after the player has selected characters in accordance with a designated template 401 and paid a required fee (described below). Designated template 401 includes seven character positions 402a-g with the first three character positions 402a-c being letters and the last four character positions 402d-g being numbers (i.e., LLL-NNNN). As will be discussed in further detail below, assuming 26 valid letters and 10 valid numbers, there are 175,760,000 combinations of these characters (i.e., 26*26*26*10*10*10*10=175,760,000).

In an exemplary embodiment, lottery ticket 400 includes an illustration on a background 403 of lottery ticket 400 that is associated with a theme of the lottery game. For example, if the theme of the lottery game is license plates, then background 403 of lottery ticket 400 may be an illustrative representation of an actual license plate (such as is illustrated in FIG. 1) or of a generic license plate (e.g., an artists rendition of a license plate).

Lottery ticket 400 includes a first game display area 404a for a first game (game “A”), a second game display area 404b for a second game (game “B”), and a third game display area 404c for a third game (game “C”). More or fewer game display areas 404 may be employed on a single lottery ticket 400. Each illustrated game display area 404 includes a game identifier field (e.g., game identifier field 406a for game A, game identifier field 406b for game B, and game identifier field 406c for game C), a player character field (e.g., player character fields 408a-c) that displays characters selected by a player in accordance with designated template 401, and a fee field (e.g., fee fields 410a-c) that displays associated fees for the selected characters.

In an exemplary embodiment, a player may select only one character for each character position 402 per game giving the player one way to match all character positions of designated template 401. In an alternative exemplary embodiment, a player may select one or more characters (e.g., up to all characters) in one or more character positions 402 in a single lottery character selection for the lottery game. Multiple selections represent alternative character selections that provide the player with multiple ways to match all character positions of designated template 401.

Illustrated lottery ticket 400 in second game display area 406b indicates that a player has selected all characters for third character position 412 (represented by the word “ALL” in brackets), four characters for seventh character position 414 (represented by the characters “4,” “5,” “6,” and “9” in brackets), and one character for each of the remaining character positions (e.g., the first, second, fourth, fifth, and sixth character positions) for the second game (game B). Whereas the player only has one way to match all drawn character positions of template 401 for the first game (game A, i.e., 1*1*1*1*1*1*1=1), the player has 104 ways to match all drawn character positions of template 401 for the second game (game B, i.e., 1*1*26*1*1*1*4=104).

Fee fields 410 present the fees associated with the selected player characters illustrated in respective player character displays 408. In an exemplary embodiment, the fees are related to the number of ways to match all character positions of designated template 401. In FIG. 4, the base fee is assumed to be $1.00 for each way to match all character positions. For example, in game A there is one way to match all drawn character positions and, therefore, the fee is $1.00. In game B there are 104 ways to match all drawn character positions and, therefore, the fee is $104.00. In game C there are 3,120 ways to match all drawn character positions (i.e., 3*1*26*10*1*4*1=3,120) and, therefore, the fee is $3,120. The illustrated fee amounts are for illustrative purposes only and the actual fees charged may vary substantially from those presented herein. For example, the base fee may be $0.10 to enable players to afford more combinations with payouts adjusted accordingly.

Illustrated lottery ticket 400 further includes a game name field 420, a state identifier field 422, a game time field 424, and one or more security code fields (represented by two security code fields 426a and 426b). Game name field 420 displays the name of the lottery game, e.g., “LICENSES-2-WIN>” in the illustrated embodiment. State identifier field 422 identifies the state where the player purchases the lottery ticket and/or the state of the lottery host, for example. The state may be identified using a two digit postal code, e.g., PA for Pennsylvania. Game time field 424 displays the day/date and, optionally, the time of the drawing, e.g., if multiple drawings take place on a given day. This corresponds to a defined day/date/time for the particular lottery game that is referenced.

Security code fields 426 facilitate authentication of lottery ticket 400. In the illustrated embodiment, two security code fields 426a and 426b are depicted. More or fewer security code fields 426 may be employed at the discretion of the lottery host. Suitable methods for developing security codes and authenticating a lottery ticket 400 will be understood by one of skill in the art from the description herein.

The actual layout of the lottery ticket for the present invention may vary from exemplary ticket 400 shown in FIG. 4. Factors that can result in differences include, but are not limited to, the template designated for the lottery game. The actual layout will ultimately depend upon the requirements dictated by the lottery host in accordance with this invention.

FIG. 5 depicts a flow chart 500 of exemplary steps for playing a lottery game in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. This embodiment is described with reference to FIG. 4. At block 502, a player selects characters (herein “player characters”) in accordance with a template 401 designated for the lottery game. In an exemplary embodiment, the player selects one character for each character position, such as shown in FIG. 4 for game A. In an alternative exemplary embodiment, the player may select more than one character for one or more of the character positions such as shown in FIG. 4 for games B and C, e.g., by specifying one or more alternate characters for one or more positions and/or by selecting all the characters for one or more character positions. In exemplary embodiments, the player may select characters through the use of a play slip (described below) that is inserted into a reader coupled to a lottery machine (described below) or by entering the selections directly into the lottery machine either personally or by directing an operator of the lottery machine. A player selection may include the player selecting to have one or more character positions randomly selected.

A fee is calculated at block 504 for the player to play the selected characters. In an exemplary embodiment, the fee is based on the characters selected by the player. For example, as described above, the fee may be based on the number of ways the selected characters may match all drawn characters of the designated template.

At block 506, payment is received from the player and, at block 508, a lottery ticket, such as lottery ticket 400 of FIG. 4, is dispensed to the player. It is contemplated that the lottery ticket may be a physical lottery ticket or an electronic lottery ticket that is transferred over a global network (e.g., the Internet) to a computer, a telephone network to a cellular telephone, or other such networks to devices from which the player is playing the lottery game.

A lottery host then draws characters (herein “lottery characters”) at block 510 in accordance with designated template 401. In an exemplary embodiment, the characters are randomly/pseudo-randomly drawn in a manner that will be understood by one of skill in the art from the description herein. One or more of the lottery characters may be drawn by obtaining those characters from another lottery game. For example, a first set of character may be drawn using the evening drawing of the Pennsylvania Daily Number™ or the evening drawing of The BIG 4SM. A second set of numbers may then be independently drawn or received from another lottery game and combined with the first set to generate the lottery characters. Various other methods for drawing the lottery characters will be understood by one of skill in the art from the description herein and are considered within the scope of the present invention.

Then, at block 512, the drawn lottery characters and the selected player characters are compared to determine winners of the lottery game. In an exemplary embodiment, a player wins the lottery game if all selected player characters and all drawn lottery characters match, which is referred to herein as a grand prize winner or a jackpot winner. In an alternative exemplary embodiment, there may be different levels of winners. For example, the grand prize winner may be considered a first level winner, a player whose selected character positions match six out of seven character positions may be considered a second level winner, etc. Additional winners may be determined based on other criteria, e.g., matching all numeric character positions or matching all alphabetic character positions, etc.

Optionally, at block 512A, the drawn lottery characters are compared to character positions on actual license plates that are registered to owners. The registered owner may be designated as a bonus winner (e.g., a winner of $10,000) if all character positions of their license plate matches all drawn lottery character positions. In an exemplary embodiment, the owner must be a player of the particular lottery game in which the lottery characters match the actual license plate. In an alternative exemplary embodiment, the bonus winner is determined regardless of whether they are a player, e.g., to generate attention for the lottery game.

Finally, at block 514, a payout for the lottery game is dispersed to the winners of the lottery game. The present lottery game can be played with a variety of payout possibilities. A jackpot or grand prize may be dispersed to the first level winner. In an exemplary embodiment, lesser amounts may be distributed to lower level winners. If there are multiple winners at a particular level, the payout for that level may be split equally among those players. The payout amount for each level can be a set amount (i.e. $500,000) or pari-mutuel, i.e., the payout is determined by the actual betting. The latter puts the lottery host in a position of less risk, because the payout cannot exceed a set percentage of the amount wagered (and collected by the lottery host). Additionally, if a bonus winner is determined at block 512a, a bonus prize is dispersed. The bonus prize may be a fixed amount or pari-mutuel.

In an exemplary embodiment, at block 516 through block 524, if there are no winners of the jackpot, the jackpot “rolls over” to increase the jackpot payout in a subsequent game. At block 516, the lottery host determines if the jackpot is dispersed at block 514. If the jackpot was dispersed, processing proceeds at block 518 with a rollover counter being reset. If the jackpot was not dispersed, processing proceeds at block 520.

At block 520, which is reached if the jackpot was not dispersed, the lottery host determines if the rollover counter has exceeded a predetermined number to determine if the jackpot has rolled over more that a predefined number of times. This ensures that the jackpot does not rollover indefinitely, which may result in players losing interest in playing subsequent games. If the rollover counter has exceeded the predetermined number, processing proceeds at block 522. If the rollover counter has exceeded the predetermined number, processing proceeds at block 524 with the jackpot rolling over for a subsequent game and the rollover counter being incremented, e.g., by one.

Then, at block 522, which is reached if the jackpot has rolled over a predetermined number of times with no first level winners, the jackpot is dispersed to lower level winners. In an exemplary embodiment, if the jackpot rolls over for the predetermined number of drawings, the jackpot is dispersed on a sliding scale basis to players of the lottery game. For example, if there are no players that select character positions that match all drawn lottery character positions for 15 games in a row, all accumulated funds are dispersed after the 15th game with 40 percent distributed to players correctly matching six out of seven character positions, 30 percent distributed to players correctly matching five out of seven character positions, 20 percent distributed to players correctly matching four out of seven character positions, and 10 percent distributed to players correctly matching three out of seven character positions. If there are no winners at a particular level, e.g., no players correctly matching four out of seven character positions, the percentage distribution is reallocated at lower levels, e.g., with 20 percent distributed to players correctly matching three out of seven character positions an 10 percent distributed to players correctly matching two out of seven positions. Various alternative methods for dispersing the jackpot will be understood by one of skill in the art and are considered within the scope of the present invention.

In an exemplary embodiment, one or more other rollover categories in addition to the jackpot may optionally be defined for one or more other the winning levels (including the bonus prize). These other rollover categories may be processed as described above for the jackpot in block 516 to block 524.

Another exemplary lottery ticket 600 and an associated designated template 601 are shown in FIG. 6 for use is describing various alternative exemplary embodiments of a lottery game in accordance with the present invention that build upon the exemplary embodiment described above with reference to FIGS. 4 and 5. Exemplary lottery ticket 600 includes many features that are found in lottery ticket 400 (FIG. 4). The common features are numbered identically and are not described again in detail.

Designated template 601 for lottery ticket 600 includes six character positions 602a-f, rather than seven for lottery ticket 400 (FIG. 4), with the first three character positions 602a-c being letters and the last three character positions 602d-g being numbers (i.e., LLL-NNN). As described in further detail below, there are 17,576,000 combinations of these characters (i.e., 26*26*26*10*10*10=17,576,000).

In accordance with one alternative exemplary embodiment of a lottery game (referred to herein as “game variant two”), designated template 601 further includes a state or country geographic identifier 603 (represented by the capital letters “ST”). State or country geographic identifier 603 may be used to specify a particular state or country in addition to the character positions 602. For example, a player may be allowed to select one or more states from a subset of states within the United States (e.g., one or more of ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, PA, and DE), and the lottery game may include drawing one of the states from the subset. Likewise, countries may be used, e.g., all countries in Europe. State geographic identifier 603 adds an additional level of interest to the lottery game and increases the number of potential combinations over the use of character positions 602 alone. For example, if there are 10 states from which a player may select, the number of combinations increases to 175,760,000 (i.e., 17,576,000*10=175,760,000) from a lottery game with six character positions and no geographic identifiers. Game variant two can be implemented using the steps in flow chart 500 of FIG. 5 modified to accommodate state/country identifier 603, which can be treated as an additional character position, in a manner that will be understood by one of skill in the art from the description herein.

In accordance with another alternative exemplary embodiment of a lottery game (referred to herein as “game variant three”), designated template 601 further includes a region geographic identifier 605 (represented by capital letters “RE”) in addition to, or instead of, state or country geographic identifier 603. Region geographic identifier 605 may be used to specify a particular region in addition to the character positions 602. For example, a player may be allowed to select one or more regions from a set of regions (e.g., North, South, East, West), and the lottery game may include drawing one of the regions from the set. Region geographic identifier 603 adds an additional level of interest to lottery games and increases the number of potential combinations over the use of character positions 602 alone. For example, if there are 4 regions from which a player may select, the number of combinations increases to 70,304,000 (i.e., 17,576,000*4=70,304,000) over the selection of six character positions 602a-f and increases to 703,040,000 (i.e., 175,760,000*4=703,040,000) over the selection of six character positions 602a-f and the selection of state/country geographic identifier 603. Game variant three can be implemented using the steps in flow chart 500 of FIG. 5 modified to accommodate region identifier 605 and/or state/country identifier 603, which can be treaded as one or more additional character positions, in a manner that will be understood by one of skill in the art from the description herein.

Similar to lottery ticket 400 (FIG. 4), lottery ticket 600 includes a first game display area 604a for a first game (game “A”), a second game display area 604b for a second game (game “B”), and a third game display area 604c for a third game (game “C”). Each illustrated game display area 604 includes a game identifier field (e.g., game identifier field 606a for game A, game identifier field 606b for game B, and game identifier field 606c for game C), a player character and geographic identifier field (e.g., player character and geographic identifier fields 608a-c) that displays characters and geographic identifiers selected by a player in accordance with template 601, and a fee field (e.g., fee fields 610a-c) that displays associated fees for the selected characters and geographic identifiers.

In an exemplary embodiment, a player may select only one character for each character position 412 and one state/country/region for respective state/country/region geographic identifier positions 603/605 per game. This gives the player one way to match all character positions and geographic identifier positions of designated template 601. In an alternative exemplary embodiment, a player may select one or more characters (e.g., up to all characters) and/or geographic identifiers in one or more character positions 602 and one or more geographic identifier positions 603/605. Multiple selections represent alternative character and geographic identifier selections that provide the player with multiple ways to match all character and geographic identifier positions of designated template 601.

Illustrated lottery ticket 600 in second game display area 604b indicates that a player has selected all characters for third character position 612 (represented by the word “ALL” in brackets), four characters for sixth character position 614 (represented by characters “4,” “5,” “6,” and “9” in brackets), one character for each of the remaining character positions (e.g., first, second, fourth, and fifth character positions), one state for state/country geographic identifier position 616 and all four regions for region geographic identifier position 618 for the second game (game B). In this embodiment, the player has 312 ways to match all drawn character and geographic identifier positions of template 601 for the second game (game B, i.e., 1*1*26*1*1*4*1*4=312).

Fee fields 610 present the fees associated with the selected player characters illustrated in respective player character displays 608. In an exemplary embodiment, the fees are related to the number of ways to match all character and geographic identifier positions of designated template 601. In FIG. 6, the fee is assumed to be $1.00 for each way to match all character geographic identifier positions. In game A, there are 6 ways to match all drawn character and geographic identifier positions and, therefore, the fee is $6.00. In game B, there are 312 ways to match all drawn character and geographic identifier positions and, therefore, the fee is $312.00. In game C, there are 187,200 ways to match all drawn character and geographic identifier positions and, therefore, the fee is $187,200. The illustrated fee amounts are for illustrative purposes only and the actual fees charged may vary substantially from those presented herein within the scope of the present invention.

In accordance with another alternative exemplary embodiment of a lottery game (referred to herein as “game variant four”), lottery ticket 600 includes a region indicator 630 that indicates regions where selected player characters are valid. In accordance with this embodiment, a drawing of lottery characters occurs in multiple regions concurrently with each region independently accumulating ad distributing payouts. For example, if there are four regions (e.g., North, South, East, and West), each of the four regions may draw lottery characters and distribute payouts to winners. In addition, when a player selects player characters, the player may select to have the player characters entered in one or more of the regions. Assuming there are four regions, the illustrated lottery ticket 600 indicates that the player has selected to have the player characters entered for each drawing in all four regions (e.g., North, South, East, and West). In an exemplary embodiment, a player may be charged additional fees for is entering their selected characters and geographic identifiers in more than one region. The number of regions may be used as a multiplier, e.g., if four regions are selected, the fee would be four times as much as if only one region is selected. For example, in game display area 606a, fee field 610a indicates a fee of $6.00. For four selected regions, however, the fee would be $24.00 (i.e., $6.00*4=$24.00).

As described above, FIG. 2 depicts four regions 202/204/206/208 with ten states in each region. In accordance with game variant four, each region may hold its own drawing of characters in accordance with a designated template. In addition, a player may select characters and elect to have the selected characters entered into one or more of the four regions. The player may only win if the selected characters match a winning number of drawn characters in a region that the player has elected. For example, if the player elects East and West regions 202/204 and the selected characters match a winning number of drawn characters in East region 202, the player is a winner. If the selected characters match a winning number of drawn characters in North region 206, however, the player is not a winner because the player did not enter that region.

Referring back to FIG. 6, in accordance with another alternative exemplary embodiment of a lottery game (referred to herein as “game variant five”), lottery ticket 600 includes an multiple-pool indicator 640 indicating that the player has selected to participate in a multiple region lottery game (identified by the name POWER-POOL™ in the illustrated embodiment). In this embodiment, another drawing of lottery characters (referred to herein as “the multi-region drawing”) is performed in addition to the drawing in each region as described above with reference to game variant four. Thus, if there are four regions, each having their own drawing of lottery characters, there will be a total of five drawings. A player may elect to have their player character entered for one or more of these drawings. As described above, the number of drawings in which the player enters may serve as a multiplier of the fee for the player's selected characters.

In game variant five, the payout for the multi-region drawing may be based on a separately maintained pool of collected fees for players entering the multi-region drawing and/or on a pool of collected fees from each of the regions within the pool. If the pool includes collected fees from the individual regions, the payout to winners of the multi-region drawing may be reduced if there are winners in the individual regions. For example, referring to FIG. 2, if there is a jackpot winner in one of the regions (e.g., East region 202) and a jackpot winner for the multi-region drawing, the multi-region drawing winner may split the jackpot prize from East region 202 with the winner in that region and take the entire jackpot prize from the remaining regions (e.g., West, North, and South regions 204/206/208).

There is shown in FIG. 7 an exemplary lottery ticket 700 and an associated designated template 401 for use is describing an add-on lottery game in accordance with the present invention (referred to herein as “game variant six”) that builds upon the exemplary embodiments described above with reference to FIGS. 4, 5, and 6. Exemplary lottery ticket 700 includes many features that are found in lottery ticket 400 (FIG. 4). The common features are numbered identically and are not described again in detail. Lottery ticket 700 includes an add-on game identifier 702 (which is labeled with the name POWER-UP-1-2-3-4™ in the illustrated embodiment).

In accordance with this embodiment, a player may select characters for a subset of the character positions of designated template 401. For example, the player may select character for the first character positions of designated template 401 (e.g., designated POWER-UP1), the first two character positions of designated template 401 (e.g., designated POWER-UP2), the first three character positions of designated template 401 (e.g., designated POWER-UP3), the first four character positions of designated template 401 (e.g., designated POWER-UP4), etc.

In lottery ticket 700, the player characters selected for this add-on game are displayed in a second line of each player character field 408 and the corresponding fee for the selected characters is listed after the fee for characters selected for each character position of designated template 401. For example, in first game display area 404a, the first two character positions of designated template 401 are selected by the player. In this example, the player selects the letter “N” for first character position 710 and all letters for second character position 712. Assuming twenty-six valid letters, the player has 26 alternative combinations for matching both character positions. If the player is charged $1.00 for each potentially matching combination, the fee would be an additional $26.00.

FIG. 8 depicts a portion of a lottery machine 800 in accordance with various aspects of the present invention. Lottery machine 800 includes a keypad 802 and a display 803. In addition to conventional lottery machine keys, keypad 802 may include one or more of a “LICENSES-2-WIN™” key 804, an “ALL” key 806, a “WITH” key 808, a “RND” key 810, a “LETTERS” key 812, a “STATES” key 814, and a “REGIONS” key 816. Keypad 802 further includes separate keys for individual letters, state, and regions (not shown). Alternatively, existing keys may be programmed to perform additional functions. For example, one or more of the number keys may be associated with one or more letter, e.g., number “4” key 820 may be associated with the letters “G,”. “H,” and “I.” In this example, pressing key 820 once may yield the number “4,” pressing key 820 a second time within a predefined period of time may yield the letter “G,” pressing key 820 a third time within a predefined period of time may yield the letter “H,” and pressing key 820 a fourth time within a predefined period of time may yield the letter “I.” Various other key implementation methods will be understood by one of skill in the art from the description herein.

In an exemplary embodiment, “WITH” key 808 is used to designate a change in selection from one character or geographic identifier position to the next. Alternative character selections may be made by keying the characters successively without pressing a non-character/geographic identifier key in between. “RND” key 810 is used to designate a random selection of one or more characters. To generate more than one random number for a particular position, a number may be entered prior to depressing “RND” key 810. For example, to select three random numbers for a particular position, the numeral “3” may be entered prior to depressing “RND” key 810. In this example, if the particular positions is an alphabetic character position, three random alphabetic character are chosen for that position, e.g., the letters D, K and P [D-K-P].

In an exemplary embodiment, display 803 may display a graphical user interface (GUI) of a keypad including keys that perform the function of one or more of the keys described above. For example, in one embodiment the GUI may present all valid alphabetic characters, numeric characters, states, and regions that are valid for selection. In another embodiment, the GUI may display valid characters, state, and regions for a particular character position when that character position is to be selected. For example, referring to FIG. 6, initially the GUI may display a first character set (e.g., all alphabetic character) as the first three character positions 602a-c are selected. The GUI may then automatically transition to displaying a second set of character (e.g., all numeric characters) after the first three character positions 602a-c are selected to enable the selection of the next three character positions 602d-f. Likewise, the GUI may automatically transition to displaying states for selection of state geographic identifier position 603 and to displaying regions for selection of region geographic identifier position 603. Additionally, display 803 may display selected characters as they are entered into lottery machine 800 for visual verification.

Exemplary method for purchasing a lottery ticket using exemplary lottery machine 800 are now described. A player verbally conveys character and optionally geographic identifiers to an operator of lottery machine 800. Alternatively, the player may be the operator of lottery machine 800 and may key selections directly into lottery machine 800.

In a first example, a player wants to select N-X-V-2-9-6-9 in accordance with a designated template such as described above with reference to FIGS. 4 and 5. Prior to entering the characters, the player selects the base fee amount, e.g., $1.00, and the desired game, e.g., “LICENSES-2-WIN™.” To enter this selection, the operator of lottery machine 800 would depress the keys as follows $1 KEY 818, “LICENSES-2-WIN™” KEY 804, N (e.g., via keypad 802 and/or display 803), “WITH” KEY 808, X, “WITH” KEY 808, V, “WITH” KEY 808, 2, “WITH” KEY 808, 9 “WITH” KEY 808, 6, “WITH” KEY 808, 9, “SEND” KEY 822. This entry would ultimately result in the issuance of a lottery ticket such as lottery ticket 400 having the format: N-X-V---2-9-6-9 for the LICENSES-2-WIN™ game.

In a second example, a player wants to select N-V-[ALL]-4-5-6-[4-5-6-9] in accordance with a designated template such as described above with reference to FIGS. 4 and 5, with alternative selections bracketed. To enter this selection, the operator of lottery machine 800 would depress the keys as follows: $1 KEY 818, “LICENSES-2-WIN™” KEY 804, N, “WITH” KEY 808, V, “WITH” KEY 808, “ALL” KEY 806, “WITH” KEY 808, 4, “WITH” KEY 808, 5, “WITH” KEY 808, 6 “WITH” KEY 808, [4-5-6-9], “SEND” KEY 822. This entry would ultimately result in the issuance of a lottery ticket such as lottery ticket 400 having the format: N-V-[ALL]---4-5-6-[4-5-6-9] for the LICENSES-2-WIN™ game.

In a third example, a player wants to select [A-B-C]-V-[ALL]-[ALL]-4-[3-6-7-9]-5 in accordance with a designated template such as described above with reference to FIGS. 4 and 5, with alternative selections bracketed. To enter this selection, the operator of lottery machine 800 would depress the keys as follows: $1 KEY 818, “LICENSES-2-WIN™” KEY 804, [A-B-C], “WITH” KEY 808, V, “WITH” KEY 808, “ALL” KEY 806, “WITH” KEY 808, “ALL” KEY 806, “WITH” KEY 808, 4, “WITH” KEY 808, [3-6-7-9], “WITH” KEY 808, 5, “SEND” KEY 822. This entry would ultimately result in the issuance of a lottery ticket such as lottery ticket 400 having the format: [A-B-C]-V-[ALL]---[ALL]-4-[3-6-7-9]-5 for the LICENSES-2-WIN™ game.

In a fourth example, a player wants to select: A-B-[ALL]-4-[7-8-9]-[2-3]-[ME,NY,PA] in accordance with a designated template 601 such as described above with reference to FIG. 6 that includes a state geographic identifier 603 without a region geographic identifier 605, with alternative selections bracketed. To enter this selection, the operator of lottery machine 800 would depress the keys as follows: $1 “KEY” 818, “LICENSES-2-WIN™ KEY 804, A, “WITH” KEY 808, B, “WITH” KEY 808, “ALL” KEY 806, “WITH” KEY 808, 4, “WITH” KEY 808, [7-8-9], “WITH” KEY 808, [2-3], “STATES” KEY 814, “WITH” KEY 808, [ME,NY,PA], “SEND” KEY 822. This entry would ultimately result in the issuance of a lottery ticket such as lottery ticket 600 having the format: A-B-[ALL]---4-[7-8-9]-[2-3]---[ME,NY,NJ] for the LICENSES-2-WIN™ game.

In a fifth example, a player wants to select: 3 RND-[M-B-A]-10 RND-6-5-[ALL]--[PA,VT] in accordance with a designated template 601 such as described above with reference to FIG. 6 that includes a state geographic identifier position 603 without a region geographic identifier position 605, with alternative selections bracketed. To enter this selection, the operator of lottery machine 800 would depress the keys of the keypad 802 as follows: $1 “KEY” 818, “LICENSES-2-WIN™” KEY 804, 3, “RND” KEY 810, “LETTERS” KEY 812, “WITH” KEY 808, [M-B-A], “WITH” KEY 808, 1, 0, “RND” KEY 810, “LETTERS” KEY 812, “WITH” KEY 808, 6, “WITH” KEY 808, 5, “WITH” KEY 808, “ALL” KEY 806, “WITH” KEY 808, [PA,VT], “SEND” KEY 822. This entry would ultimately result in the issuance of a lottery ticket having the format: [A-Z-X]-[M-B-A]-[C-Y-G-H-U-L-E-X-Y-A]---6-5-[ALL]---[PA,VT] for the LICENSES-2-WIN™ game.

In a sixth example, a player wants to select: 3 RND-[M-B-A]-ALL-6-5-[ALL]--[ALL]-[WEST] in accordance with a designated template 601 such as described above with reference to FIG. 6 that includes a state geographic identifier position 603 and a region geographic identifier position 605, with alternative selections bracketed. To enter this selection, the operator of lottery machine 800 would depress the keys of the keypad 802 as follows: $1 “KEY” 818, “LICENSES-2-WIN™” KEY 804, 3, “RND” KEY 810, “LETTERS” KEY 812, “WITH” KEY 808, [M-B-A], “WITH” KEY 808, “ALL” KEY 806, “WITH” KEY 808, 6, “WITH” KEY 808, 5, “WITH” KEY 808, “ALL” KEY 806, “WITH” KEY 808, “STATES” KEY 814, “ALL” KEY 806, “WITH” KEY 808, “REGION” KEY 816, WEST, “SEND” KEY 822. This entry would ultimately result in the issuance of a lottery ticket having the format: [A-Z-X]-[M-B-A]-[ALL]---6-5-[ALL]---[ALL]---[EAST] for the LICENSES-2-WIN™ game.

Lottery machine 800 includes a housing 850 that supports keypad 802 and display 803. In an exemplary embodiment, housing 850 may be configured as a self service terminal. In an alternative exemplary embodiment, housing 850 may be configured as a conventional lottery machine. Various other configuration will be understood by one of skill in the art from the description herein.

FIG. 9 depicts an exemplary play slip 900 that may be filled out by a player to select player character and geographic identifiers. Play slip 900 may be read by a reader (not shown) coupled to a lottery machine 800 in a manner that will be understood by one of skill in the art to enter the player's selections.

Illustrated play slip 900 includes a game identifier 901 and multiple game selection areas (represented by a first game selection area 902a, a second game selection area 902b, and a third game selection area 902c). In an exemplary embodiment, each game selection area 902 is substantially identical and, thus, only first game selection area 902a is described below.

First game selection area 902a includes multiple character position selector areas (represented by six character position selector areas 904a-f), a state geographic identifier selector area 906, and a region geographic identifier selector area 908.

The first three character position selector areas 904a-c are alphabetic character selector areas and, thus, each include a letters selection area 910. One or more letters may be selected from letters selection area 910 by circling/marking-out the actual letter. Alternative, one or more letter may be randomly selected for a character position for the first game by selecting a corresponding quick pick (QP) indicator 912 or for all three games by selecting a random (RND) indicator 914. All letters may be selected by selecting an all indicator 916.

The last three character position selector areas 904d-f are numeric character selector areas and, thus, each include a number selection area 918. One or more numbers may be selected from a numbers selection area 918 by circling/marking-out the actual number. Alternative, one or more numbers may be randomly selected for a character position for the first game by selecting a corresponding quick pick (QP) indicator 920 or for all three games by selecting a random (RND) indicator 922. All letters may be selected by selecting an all indicator 924.

State geographic selector area 906 includes a state selection area 926. One or more states may be selected from states selection area 926 by circling/marking-out the actual state. Alternative, one or more states may be randomly selected for a character position for the first game by selecting a corresponding quick pick (QP) indicator 928 or for all three games by selecting a random (RND) indicator 930. All states may be selected by selecting an all indicator 932.

Region geographic selector area 908 includes a region selection area 934. One or more regions may be selected from region selection area 934 by circling/marking-out the actual region. Alternative, one or more states may be randomly selected by selecting a random (RND) indicator 936. All states may be selected by selecting an all indicator 938.

Exemplary payouts and payout calculations are shown below for exemplary lottery games in accordance with the present invention. Note that the payouts are determined based upon paying out half of the odds multiplied by a $1.00 bet. Different payouts will be understood by those skilled in the art depending upon different bets and different payout strategies. For example, instead of a fixed payout amount, it is possible to include a payout tied to the amount bet (a pari-mutuel system) and the various prize levels used so that the payout can never exceed the amount bet (or percentage reserved for payouts of the amount bet). In addition, while a number of wager types are illustrated, the sponsor may not choose to use all listed wager types and may choose to only accept a single wager type or a predetermined set of wager types. In addition, there may be other wager types other than those listed such as the inclusion of a multiplier field or another wild card field, similar to the POWERBALL® of the Pennsylvania lottery.

Game variant one odds are shown in table 1 below. The number of ways to win were calculated using the formula C(n,r)*(x-1)**(n−r)*C(s,t)*(y−1)**(s−t), where C(n,r) is the combinations formula for n objects r at a time (n=3 and r=0,1,2,3) for the three alphabetic characters in the designated template 401 and C(s,t) is the combinations formula for s objects t at a time (s=4 and t=0,1,2,3,4) for the four numeric characters in the designated template 401. The number of possible characters for the alphabetic characters is represented by x and the number of possible characters for the numeric characters is represented by y. Assuming there are 26 possible alphabetic characters and 10 possible numeric characters (0-9), x=26 and y=10, respectively. The number of ways to lose is calculated by subtracting the number of ways to win from the total number of alphabetic and numeric character combinations (e.g., 26*26*26*10*10*10*10=175,760,000) The probability of winning is calculated by dividing the number of ways to win by the total number of alphabetic and numeric character combinations. The odds to win to one are calculated by calculating the inverse of the probability of winning and subtracting one.

TABLE 1
# OF WAYS# OF WAYS# OF WAYS TOPROBABILITY OF
TO MATCHTO WINLOSEWINNINGODDS TO WIN: 1
MATCH-7: 3 L + 4-N1175,759,9990.00000000569175759999
MATCH-6: 2 L + 4-N75175,759,9250.000000426722343465.667
MATCH-6: 3 L + 3-N36175,759,9640.000000204824882221.222
MATCH-5: 1 L + 4-N1875175,758,1250.0000106679693737.66667
MATCH-5: 2 L + 3-N2700175,757,3000.0000153618665095.2963
MATCH-5: 3 L + 2-N486175,759,5140.00000276513361645.0905
MATCH-4: 3 L + 1-N2916175,757,0840.0000165908160273.34842
MATCH-4: 2 L + 2-N36450175,723,5500.000207385074820.947874
MATCH-4: 1 L + 3-N67500175,692,5000.000384046432602.851852
MATCH-4: 0 L + 4-N15625175,744,3750.0000888996411247.64
MATCH-3: 3 L + 0-N6561175,753,4390.0000373293126787.5993
MATCH-3: 2 L + 1-N218700175,541,3000.00124431042802.657979
MATCH-3: 1 L + 2-N911250174,848,7500.00518462676191.877915
MATCH-3: 0 L + 3-N562500175,197,5000.00320038689311.4622222
MATCH-2: 2 L + 0-N492075175,267,9250.00279969845356.181324
MATCH-2: 1 L + 1-N5467500170,292,5000.0311077605831.14631916
MATCH-2: 0 L + 2-N7593750168,166,2500.0432052230322.14534979
TOTALS15,380,000160,380,0000.0875056895810.42782835

Exemplary payout distributions for game variant one are shown in table 2 below. The exemplary payouts were determined assuming a $1.00 base fee amount.

TABLE 2
Number
of Ways
MAJORMATCH #MATCH #to winApproximate
PRIZEOFOFper gamePROBABILITY OFODDS of winningDistributions ofPrize Payout
NUMBERLETTERSNUMBERSplayedwinning per playper play TO 1:winnings pool(Pari-Mutuel)
 1 7/73410.00000001175,759,999.000023.03725%JACKPOT
 2 6/733360.000000204,882,221.22222.04825%$100,000.00
 3 6/724750.000000432,343,465.66672.04825%$48,000.00
 4 5/7324860.00000277361,645.09051.10630%$4,000.00
 5 5/72327000.0000153665,095.29631.30653%$850.00
 6 5/71418750.0000106793,737.66671.30653%$1,225.00
 7 4/73129160.0000165960,273.34841.30653%$787.00
 8 4/722364500.000207394,820.94791.30653%$63.00
 9 4/713675000.000384052,602.85191.34500%$35.00
10 4/704156250.0000889011,247.64001.33400%$150.00
11 3/73065610.0000373326,787.59931.30653%$350.00
12 3/7212187000.00124431802.65801.24430%$10.00
13 3/7129112500.00518463191.87792.07400%$4.00
14 3/7035625000.00320039311.46220.96000%$3.00
15 2/7204920750.00279970356.18130.84000%$3.00
16 2/71154675000.0311077631.14633.11000%$1.00
17 2/70275937500.0432052222.14534.32000%$1.00
TOTALS18266750.0875056910.427850.00000%

In an exemplary embodiment, for each drawing, 50% of gross sales is allocated to a total winnings pool, with all prized awarded on a pari-mutuel basis. (Example: if there is only one winner, that person wins the entire prize category amount; if there are 10 winners, the prize category amount is divided into ten equal shares.)

Exemplary payout distributions for game variant one if a predefined number of drawings occur without a jackpot winner are shown in table 3 below.

TABLE 3
Number of
MAJOR PRIZEMATCHMATCH #Ways to win
NUMBER 15th# OFOFper gamePROBABILITY OFODDS of winningDistributions of
DRAWING ONLYLETTERSNUMBERSplayedwinning per playper play TO 1:winnings pool
133360.000000204,882,221.222240.00%
224750.000000432,343,465.666730.00%
3324860.00000277361,645.090520.00%
41418750.0000106793,737.666710.00%
52327000.0000153665,095.2963
63129160.0000165960,273.3484
73065610.0000373326,787.5993

In an exemplary embodiment, if there is no winner in a specific major prize number pool, the winnings pool percentages will roll-down until there is a least one winning ticket in that prize number pool.

Game variant two odds are shown in table 4 below. The number of ways to win were calculated using the formula C(n,r)*(x-1)**(n−r)*C(s,t)*(y−1)**(s−t)*C(a,b)*(z−1)**(a−b), where C(n,r) is the combinations formula for n objects r at a time (n=3 and r=1,2,3) for the three alphabetic characters in the designated template 601, C(s,t) is the combinations formula for s objects t at a time (s=3 and t=0,1,2,3) for the three numeric characters in the designated template 601, and C(a,b) is the combinations formula or a objects b at a time (a=1 and b=0,1) for the state geographic identifier in the designated template 601. The number of possible characters for the alphabetic characters is represented by x, the number of possible characters for the numeric characters is represented by y, and the number of possible state geographic identifiers is represented by z. Assuming there are 26 possible alphabetic characters, 10 possible numeric characters (0-9), and 10 possible state identifiers (e.g., ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, PA, DE), x=26, y=10, and z=10, respectively. The number of ways to lose is calculated by subtracting the number of ways to win from the total number of alphabetic, numeric, and state combinations (e.g., 26*26*26*10*10*10*10=175,760,000) The probability of winning is calculated by dividing the number of ways to win by the total number of alphabetic, numeric, and state combinations. The odds to win to one are calculated by calculating the inverse of the probability of winning and subtracting one.

TABLE 4
# OF WAYS# OF WAYS TOPROBABILITY OF
# OF WAYS TO MATCHTO WINLOSEWINODDS TO WIN: 1
MATCH-7: 3 L + 3-N + State11757599990.000000006175,759,999.00
MATCH-6: 3 L + 3-N + No-State91757599910.00000005119,528,887.89
MATCH-6: 3 L + 2-N + State271757599730.0000001546,509,628.63
MATCH-6: 2 L + 3-N + State751757599250.0000004272,343,465.67
MATCH-5: 3 L + 2-N + NO-State2431757597570.000001383723,291.18
MATCH-5: 2 L + 3-N + NO-State6751757593250.000003840260,384.19
MATCH-5: 2 L + 2-N + State2,0251757579750.00001152186,794.06
MATCH-4: 3 L + 0-N + State7291757592710.000004148241,096.39
MATCH-4: 0 L + 3-N + State15,6251757443750.00008890011,247.64
MATCH-4: 2 L + 2-N + NO-State18,2251757417750.0001036939,642.90
MATCH-4: 2 L + 1-N + State18,2251757417750.0001036939,642.90
MATCH-4: 1 L + 2-N + State50,6251757093750.0002880353,470.80
MATCH-3: 3 L + 0-N + NO-State6,5611757534390.00003732926,787.60
MATCH-3: 0 L + 3-N + NO-State140,6251756193750.0008000971,248.85
MATCH-3: 2 L + 1-N + NO-State164,0251755959750.0009332331,070.54
MATCH-3: 1 L + 2-N + NO-State455,6251753043750.002592313384.76
MATCH-3: 1 L + 1-N + State455,6251753043750.002592313384.76
MATCH-2: 1 L + 0-N + State1,366,8751743931250.007776940127.59
MATCH-2: 0 L + 1-N + State3,796,8751719631250.02160261245.29
MATCH-2: 1 L + 1-N + NO State4,100,6251716593750.02333082041.86
MATCH-1: 0 L + 0-N + State11,390,6251643693750.06480783514.43
TOTALS21,983,945153,776,0550.1250793416.99493

Exemplary payout distributions for game variant two are shown in table 5 below.

TABLE 5
Number of
Ways to winPROBABILITYApproximate
PrizeMATCH #MATCH #Stateper gameOF winningODDS of winningDistributions ofPrize Payout
LevelLETTERSNUMBERSMatch?playedper playTO 1:winnings pool(Pari-Mutuel)
 1 7/733YES10.00000001175,759,999.000018.87699%JACKPOT
 2 6/733NO90.0000000519,528,887.88891.03693%$202,500.00
 3 6/732YES270.000000156,509,628.62961.03693%$67,500.00
 4 6/723YES750.000000432,343,465.66671.03693%$24,300.00
 5 5/732NO2430.00000138723,291.18111.03693%$7,500.00
 6 5/723NO6750.00000384260,384.18521.03693%$2,700.00
 7 5/722YES20250.0000115286,794.06171.03693%$900.00
 8 4/730YES7290.00000415241,096.39371.03693%$2,500.00
 9 4/703YES156250.0000889011,247.64000.45000%$50.00
10 4/722NO182250.000103699,642.89570.52000%$50.00
11 4/721YES182250.000103699,642.89570.52000%$50.00
12 4/712YES506250.000288033,470.80251.00800%$35.00
13 3/730NO65610.0000373326,787.59930.37350%$100.00
14 3/703NO1406250.000800101,248.84890.56000%$7.00
15 3/721NO1640250.000933231,070.54400.56000%$6.00
16 3/712NO4556250.00259231384.75581.03700%$4.00
17 3/711YES4556250.00259231384.75581.03700%$4.00
18 2/710YES13668750.00777694127.58532.33300%$3.00
19 2/701YES37968750.0216026145.29074.32000%$2.00
20 2/711NO41006250.0233308241.86184.66600%$2.00
21 1/700YES113906250.0648078314.43026.48000%$1.00
TOTALS21,983,9450.125079346.994950.00000%

In an exemplary embodiment, for each drawing, 50% of gross sales is allocated to a total winnings pool, with all prized awarded on a pari-mutuel basis. (Example: if there is only one winner, that person wins the entire prize category amount; if there are 10 winners, the prize category amount is divided into ten equal shares.)

Exemplary payout distributions for game variant two if a predefined number of drawing occur without a jackpot winner are shown in table 6 below.

TABLE 6
PRIZENumber of
LEVELMATCH #MATCH #MATCHWays to winDistributions
15thOFOFSTATE?per gamePROBABILITY OFODDS of winningof winnings
DRAWINGLETTERSNUMBERSYes or NOplayedwinning per playper play TO 1:pool
133NO90.0000000519,528,887.888940.00%
232YES270.000000156,509,628.629630.00%
323YES750.000000432,343,465.666720.00%
432NO2430.00000138723,291.181110.00%
523NO6750.00000384260,384.1852
630YES7290.00000415241,096.3937
722YES20250.0000115286,794.0617
830NO65610.0000373326,787.5993
903YES156250.0000889011,247.6400

In an exemplary embodiment, if there is no winner in a specific major prize number pool, the winnings pool percentages will roll-down until there is a least one winning ticket in that prize number pool.

Game variant three odds are shown in table 7 below. The number of ways to win were calculated using the formula C(n,r)*(x−1)**(n−r)*C(s,t)*(y−1)**(s−t)*C(a,b)*(z−1)*C(m,p)*(zz−1)**(a−p)*C(m,p)*(zz−1)**(m−p), where C(n,r) is the combinations formula for n objects r at a time (n=3 and r=0,1,2,3) for the three alphabetic characters in the designated template 601, C(s,t) is the combinations formula for s objects t at a time (s=3 and t=0,1,2,3) for the three numeric characters in the designated template 601, C(a,b) is the combinations formula for a objects b at a time (a=1 and b=0,1) for the state geographic identifier in the designated template 601 and C(m,p) is the combinations formula for m objects p at a time (m=1 and p=0,1) for the region geographic identifier in the designated template 601. The number of possible characters for the alphabetic characters is represented by x, the number of possible characters for the numeric characters is represented by y, the number of possible state geographic identifiers is represented by z, and the number of possible region geographic identifiers is represented by zz. Assuming there are 26 possible alphabetic characters, 10 possible numeric characters (0-9), 10 possible state identifiers (e.g., ME, NH, VT, MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, PA, DE), and four possible region identifiers (e.g., North, South, East, and West), x=26, y=10, z=10, and zz=4, respectively. The number of ways to lose is calculated by subtracting the number of ways to win from the total number of alphabetic, numeric, state, and region combinations (e.g., 26*26*26*10*10*10*10*4=703,040,000) The probability of winning is calculated by dividing the number of ways to win by the total number of alphabetic, numeric, state, and region combinations. The odds to win to one are calculated by calculating the inverse of the probability of winning and subtracting one.

TABLE 7
# OF WAYS# OF WAYSPROBABILITY OFODDS TO
# OF WAYS TO MATCHTO WINTO LOSEWINWIN: 1
MATCH-8: 3 L + 3-N + State + Reg17030399990.000000001703,039,999.00
MATCH-7: 3 L + 3-N + State + NO-Reg37030399970.000000004234,346,665.67
MATCH-7: 3 L + 3-N + NO-State + Reg97030399910.00000001378,115,554.56
MATCH-7: 3 L + 2-N + State + Reg277030399730.00000003826,038,517.52
MATCH-7: 2 L + 3-N + State + Reg757030399250.0000001079,373,865.67
MATCH-6: 3 L + 3-N + NO-State + NO-Reg2707030397300.0000003842,603,850.85
MATCH-6: 3 L + 2-N + State + NO-Reg817030399190.0000001158,679,505.17
MATCH-6: 3 L + 2-N + NO-State + Reg2437030397570.0000003462,893,167.72
MATCH-6: 2 L + 2-N + State + Reg2,0257030379750.000002880347,179.25
MATCH-6: 3 L + 1-N + State + Reg2437030397570.0000003462,893,167.72
MATCH-6: 1 L + 3-N + State + Reg1,8757030381250.000002667374,953.67
MATCH-6: 2 L + 3-N + State + NO-Reg2257030397750.0000003203,124,621.22
MATCH-6: 2 L + 3-N + NO-State + Reg6757030393250.0000009601,041,539.74
MATCH-5: 3 L + 2-N + NO-State + NO-Reg7,2907030327100.00001036996,437.96
MATCH-5: 2 L + 3-N + NO-State + NO-Reg20,2507030197500.00002880334,717.02
MATCH-5: 2 L + 2-N + State + NO-Reg6,0757030339250.000008641115,725.75
MATCH-5: 2 L + 2-N + NO-State + Reg18,2257030217750.00002592338,574.58
MATCH-5: 2 L + 1-N + State + Reg18,2257030217750.00002592338,574.58
MATCH-5: 1 L + 2-N + State + Reg50,6257029893750.00007200913,886.21
MATCH-5: 3 L + 0-N + State + Reg7297030392710.000001037964,388.57
MATCH-5: 0 L + 3-N + State + Reg15,6257030243750.00002222544,993.56
MATCH-4: 3 L + 0-N + State + NO-Reg2,1877030378130.000003111321,462.19
MATCH-4: 3 L + 0-N + NO-State + Reg6,5617030334390.000009332107,153.40
MATCH-4: 0 L + 3-N + State + NO-Reg46,8757029931250.00006667514,997.19
MATCH-4: 0 L + 3-N + NO-State + Reg140,6257028993750.0002000244,998.40
MATCH-4: 3 L + 1-N + NO-State + NO-Reg65,6107029743900.00009332310,714.44
MATCH-4: 1 L + 3-N + NO-State + NO-Reg506,2507025337500.0007200871,387.72
MATCH-4 :2 L + 2-N + NO-State + NO-Reg546,7507024932500.0007776941,284.85
MATCH-4: 2 L + 0-N + State + Reg54,6757029853250.00007776912,857.53
MATCH-4: 0 L + 2-N + State + Reg421,8757026181250.0006000731,665.47
MATCH-4: 1 L + 1-N + State + Reg455,6257025843750.0006480781,542.02
MATCH-3: 3 L + 0-N + NO-State + NO-Reg196,8307028431700.0002799703,570.81
MATCH-3: 2 L + 1-N + NO-State + NO-Reg4,920,7506981192500.006999246141.87
MATCH-3: 2 L + 0-N + State + NO-Reg164,0257028759750.0002333084,285.18
MATCH-3: 2 L + 0-N + NO-State + Reg492,0757025479250.0006999251,427.73
MATCH-3: 1 L + 2-N + NO-State + NO-Reg13,668,7506893712500.01944235050.43
MATCH-3: 0 L + 2-N + State + NO-Reg1,265,6257017743750.001800218554.49
MATCH-3: 0 L + 2-N + NO-State + Reg3,796,8756992431250.005400653184.16
MATCH-3: 1 L + 1-N + State + NO-Reg1,366,8757016731250.001944235513.34
MATCH-3: 1 L + 1-N + NO-State + Reg4,100,6256989393750.005832705170.45
MATCH-3: 1 L + 0-N + State + Reg1,366,8757016731250.001944235513.34
MATCH-3: 0 L + 1-N + State + Reg3,796,8756992431250.005400653184.16
MATCH-3: 0 L + 3-N + NO-State + NO-Reg140,6257028993750.0002000244,998.40
MATCH-2: 2 L + 0-N + NO-State + NO-Reg492,07570254792S0.0006999251,427.73
MATCH-2: 0 L + 2-N + NO-State + NO-Reg3,796,8756992431250.005400653184.16
MATCH-2: 1 L + 1-N + NO-State + NO-Reg4,100,6256989393750.005832705170.45
MATCH-2: 1 L + 0-N + NO-State + Reg12,301,8756907381250.01749811556.15
MATCH-2: 1 L + 0-N + State + NO-Reg4,100,6256989393750.005832705170.45
MATCH-2: 0 L + 1-N + State + NO-Reg11,390,6256916493750.01620195960.72
MATCH-2: 0 L + 1-N + NO-State + Reg34,171,8756688681250.04860587619.57
MATCH-2: 0 L + 0-N + State + Reg11,390,6256916493750.01620195960.72
TOTALS119,411,8345836281660.1698506974.88752

Exemplary payout distributions for game variant three are shown in table 8 below.

TABLE 8
Number ofApproximate
MAJORMATCH #MATCH #Ways toPROBABILITYODDS ofDistributionsPrize
PRIZEOFOFSTATEREGIONwin per gameof winning perwinning perof winningsPayout
NUMBERLETTERSNUMBERSMATCH?MATCH?playedplayplay TO 1:pool(Pari-Mutuel)
 1 8/833YESYES10.000000001703,039,99917.76868%JACKPOT
 2⅞33YESNO30.000000004234,346,6660.42672%$1,000,000.00
 3⅞33NOYES90.00000001378,115,5550.42672%$330,000.00
 4⅞32YESYES270.00000003826,038,5180.42672%$110,000.00
 5⅞23YESYES750.0000001079,373,8660.42672%$40,000.00
 6 6/833NONO2700.0000003842,603,8510.42672%$11,000.00
 7 6/832YESNO810.0000001158,679,5050.42672%$37,500.00
 8 6/832NOYES2430.0000003462,893,1680.42672%$12,500.00
 9 6/822YESYES2,0250.000002880347,1790.42672%$1,500.00
10 6/831YESYES2430.0000003462,893,1680.42672%$12,500.00
11 6/813YESYES1,8750.000002667374,9540.42672%$1,600.00
12 6/823YESNO2250.0000003203,124,6210.42672%$13,000.00
13 6/823NOYES6750.0000009601,041,5400.42672%$4,500.00
14⅝32NONO7,2900.00001036996,4380.42672%$400.00
15⅝23NONO20,2500.00002880334,7170.42672%$150.00
16⅝22YESNO6,0750.000008641115,7260.42672%$500.00
17⅝22NOYES18,2250.00002592338,5750.42672%$150.00
18⅝21YESYES18,2250.00002592338,5750.42672%$150.00
19⅝12YESYES50,6250.00007200913,8860.42672%$60.00
20⅝30YESYES7290.000001037964,3890.42672%$4,000.00
21⅝03YESYES15,6250.00002222544,9940.42672%$200.00
22 4/830YESNO2,1870.000003111321,4620.42672%$1,000.00
23 4/830NOYES6,5610.000009332107,1530.42672%$450.00
24 4/803YESNO46,8750.00006667514,9970.42672%$60.00
25 4/803NOYES140,6250.0002000244,9980.42672%$20.00
26 4/831NONO65,6100.00009332310,7140.42672%$40.00
27 4/813NONO506,2500.0007200871,3880.42672%$5.00
28 4/822NONO546,7500.0007776941,2850.42672%$5.00
29 4/820YESYES54,6750.00007776912,8580.42672%$50.00
30 4/802YESYES421,8750.0006000731,6650.42672%$7.00
31 4/811YESYES455,6250.0006480781,5420.42672%$6.00
32⅜30NONO196,8300.0002799703,5710.42672%$15.00
33⅜21NONO4,920,7500.0069992461420.42672%$1.00
34⅜20YESNO164,0250.0002333084,2850.42672%$18.00
35⅜20NOYES492,0750.0006999251,4280.42672%$6.00
36⅜12NONO13,668,7500.019442350501.94400%$1.00
37⅜02YESNO1,265,6250.0018002185540.54000%$3.00
38⅜02NOYES3,796,8750.0054006531840.54000%$1.00
39⅜11YESNO1,366,8750.0019442355130.58320%$3.00
40⅜11NOYES4,100,6250.0058327051700.58300%$1.00
41⅜10YESYES1,366,8750.0019442355130.58320%$3.00
42⅜01YESYES3,796,8750.0054006531840.54000%$1.00
43⅜03NONO140,6250.0002000244,9980.42672%$20.00
44 2/820NONO492,0750.0006999251,4280.42672%$6.00
45 2/802NONO3,796,8750.0054006531840.54000%$1.00
46 2/811NONO4,100,6250.0058327051700.58300%$1.00
47 2/810NOYES12,301,8750.017498115561.75000%$1.00
48 2/810YESNO4,100,6250.0058327051700.58300%$1.00
49 2/801YESNO11,390,6250.016201959611.62000%$1.00
50 2/801NOYES34,171,8750.048605876204.86000%$1.00
51 2/800YESYES11,390,6250.016201959611.62000%$1.00
TOTALS119,411,8340.1698506974.887550.00000%

In an exemplary embodiment, for each drawing, 50% of gross sales is allocated to a total winnings pool, with all prizes awarded on a pari-mutuel basis. (Example: if there is only one winner, that person wins the entire prize category amount; if there are 10 winners, the prize category amount is divided into ten equal shares.)

Exemplary payout distributions for the game variant three if a predefined number of drawing occur without a jackpot winner are shown in table 9 below.

TABLE 9
MAJOR PRIZENumber of
NUMBER 15thMATCH #MATCH #Ways toODDS ofDistributions
DRAWINGOFOFSTATEREGIONwin perPROBABILITY OFwinning per playof winnings
ONLYLETTERSNUMBERSMATCH?MATCH?game playedwinning per playTO 1:pool
133YESNO30.000000004234,346,665.6740.00%
233NOYES90.00000001378,115,554.5630.00%
332YESYES270.00000003826,038,517.5220.00%
423YESYES750.0000001079,373,865.6710.00%
532YESNO810.0000001158,679,505.17
623YESNO2250.0000003203,124,621.22
732NOYES2430.0000003462,893,167.72
31YESYES2430.0000003462,893,167.72
833NONO2700.0000003842,603,850.85
923NOYES6750.0000009601,041,539.74
1030YESYES7290.000001037964,388.57
1113YESYES1,8750.000002667374,953.67
1222YESYES2,0250.000002880347,179.25

In an exemplary embodiment, for each drawing, 50% of gross sales is allocated to a total winnings pool, with all prizes awarded on a pari-mutuel basis. (Example: if there is only one winner, that person wins the entire prize category amount; if there are 10 winners, the prize category amount is divided into ten equal shares.)

Exemplary odds and payout distributions for the game variant six are shown in table 10 below.

TABLE 10
Approximate
MATCH #MATCH #ODDS ofPrize Per $ 1.00
OFOFPROBABILITY OFwinning per play TOPayout
WAYS TO WINLETTERSNUMBERSwinning per play1:(Pari-mutuel)
1ST POSITION: L100.03846153825.0000$13
1ST POSITION: N010.1000000009.0000$5
2ND POSITION: L-L200.001479290675.0000$338
2ND POSITION: L-N110.003846154259.0000$130
2ND POSITION: N-L110.003846154259.0000$130
2ND POSITION: N-N020.01000000099.0000$50
3rd POSITION: L-L-L300.00005689617,575.0000$8,788
3rd POSITION: L-L-N210.0001479296,759.0000$3,380
3RD POSITION: L-N-L210.0001479296,759.0000$3,380
3RD POSITION: N-L-L210.0001479296,759.0000$3,380
3RD POSITION: N-N-L120.0003846152,599.0000$1,300
3RD POSITION: N-L-N120.0003846152,599.0000$1,300
3RD POSITION: L-N-N120.0003846152,599.0000$1,300
3RD POSITION: N-N-N030.001000000999.0000$500
4th POSITION: L-L-L-L400.000002188456,975.0000$228,488
4th POSITION: L-L-L-N310.000005690175,759.0000$87,880
4th POSITION: L-L-N-L310.000005690175,759.0000$87,880
4th POSITION: L-N-L-L310.000005690175,759.0000$87,880
4th POSITION: N-L-L-L310.000005690175,759.0000$87,880
4th POSITION: L-L-N-N220.00001479367,599.0000$33,800
4th POSITION: L-N-L-N220.00001479367,599.0000$33,800
4th POSITION: N-L-L-N220.00001479367,599.0000$33,800
4th POSITION: L-N-N-L220.00001479367,599.0000$33,800
4th POSITION: N-L-N-L220.00001479367,599.0000$33,800
4th POSITION: N-N-L-L220.00001479367,599.0000$33,800
4th POSITION: N-N-N-L130.00003846225,999.0000$13,000
4th POSITION: N-N-L-N130.00003846225,999.0000$13,000
4th POSITION: N-L-N-N130.00003846225,999.0000$13,000
4th POSITION: L-N-N-N130.00003846225,999.0000$13,000
4th POSITION: N-N-N-N040.0001000009,999.0000$5,000
TOTALS0.160655225.2245

Odds and payout distributions for other game variants will be understood by one of skill in the art from the description herein.

While the particular embodiments to the present invention have been disclosed herein, it is not intended to limit the invention to such disclosure. Changes, modifications, or different embodiments may be incorporated within the scope of the following claims.